X Factor legend Wagner is a hero to British audiences – but he’s now leaving our shores to change careers.
The 66-year-old former PE teacher, who shot to overnight fame in 2010 when he auditioned for the ITV singing competition, is returning to his native Brazil.
Wagner didn’t participate in the live shows at first, but was sensationally brought back by judge Louis Walsh to join the over-28 category and remarkably reached the quarter-finals.
While Wagner is happy to live near Birmingham with his wife Lydia, who is 36 years his junior, and their children, he has made a sacrifice to secure their future.
Speaking exclusively to The Mirror, the performer, full name Wagner Fiuza-Carrilho, explains: “I love this place but I’m going to Brazil to start a hair transplant business.”
The singer, who rose to fame with his remixes of classic songs such as She Bangs and Love Shack, has personal experience with hair transplants after going bald in 2013 and undergoing two separate procedures.
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The X Factor star was known on the show for her lovely long locks, but her hair receded and her hair started to thin.
Wagner went to Vinci Hair Clinic to transfer healthy hair follicles from the back of his head to areas that needed them – a hole at the top of his head and in the front.
“I’m living proof that hair transplants work. I had mine eight years ago and haven’t lost anything. I lose more from my beard than from my head,” he says.
He befriended owner Salvar Björnsson, who owns 40 clinics around the world and lets Wagner open a new franchise in northeast Brazil where he grew up.
“So you’re asking me to go back to heaven, palm trees, 12 months by the sea, to go earn money? I’m going to earn so much money I’ll be back in the UK. I’m only a flight away “, he explains.
“Once the clinic is up and running I can hire a manager who speaks English and once I die Lydia will communicate with the manager and I can die in peace now.”
Initially, Wagner will stay in Brazil for at least three or four months while he finds premises, starts decorating, finds staff and trains them.
Characteristics of Ken McKay/Rex)
Not that he needs it right now, but Wagner will be able to get another hair transplant whenever he wants.
He makes a huge sacrifice leaving the UK, but the main career change is to provide for his partner Lydia and their children.
The pair met in December 2010 at a gig in Stourbridge, Dudley, just weeks after Wagner was kicked out of The X Factor.
He was introduced to her by one of her former karate students – and Lydia has her own karate club in Kingswinford.
“As soon as I got off the TV show, I met Lydia,” says Wagner, who then told us what made him fall in love. “I would say not only her beauty but also her character.
“She looked very honest and innocent, she had no harm. She was such a beautiful soul and I was like, ‘I’m lucky she’s beautiful’.”
Asked about their 36-year age gap, Wagner adds: “No, I don’t mind because the mind doesn’t age. I only know I’m 66 because it’s written on my birth certificate. .”
The couple are parents to two, with Wagner admitting words can’t describe how “magical” it is to be a father, but says it’s too early to say if they’ll follow in his musical footsteps.
Wagner still gives concerts, but not as much as before, admitting that he has struggled to regain the same rhythm.
He created another source of income, personalized video messages, and believes he was “the inventor of this business” before Cameo came along.
After making tons of video messages for special events for free, Lydia suggested he should start charging.
At first Wagner thought “she was crazy” and didn’t think it would work, but together they made it a business.
“A lot of people say ‘you must be desperate and skinny’. I just thought I was doing all these requests for free,” the singer explains.
“Someone said I was ‘scratching the bottom of the barrel’. But soon everyone started paying and realized it was a fair deal.
“The UK market was all mine. I was like the people’s messenger. Over Christmas I would sometimes make 60-70 videos a day. It was too much, I became a slave to my own videos. It was 365 days a year.”
Wagner says he’s the “messenger of the British people” but now he’s selling fewer videos than before because there’s so much competition.
“Nowadays there are different platforms with thousands of competitors and celebrities,” he says. “They all do. The market was just mine and now it’s split between thousands of competitors.”
In addition to taking video requests, Wagner is also available to hire for bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings or club nights.
His popularity will no doubt continue, with a fan honking and waving at Wagner as he stood outside his house after this interview.
He says: “It’s a wonderful thing. There’s nothing better than being loved. Everywhere I go people love me and it’s a wonderful feeling. I can’t help but be grateful to the British people for the way they welcomed me.”
Wagner also lifted the lid on his time on The X Factor, where he made it all the way to the quarter-finals before losing his spot.
He still talks to some of his castmates, including Sam Bailey, Mary Byrne, Rebecca Ferguson and Tracy Cohen, while keeping a pair of sunglasses given to him by One Direction’s Zayn Malik.
Speaking about the experience, he says, “When you’re on The X Factor, you’re like a prisoner. You can’t go anywhere because you become their property, their asset to the show.
“At 7 a.m. we had to get ready to go to the studio, then record, go to interviews, the show was huge. Then we would come home at 11 a.m. So it was a full-time job.
“There was some tension among the other competitors but I was never tense because I didn’t expect to go this far. I was grateful for every day I was there.
“When a samurai goes to a battle, he’s not afraid because his attitude is ‘I’m already dead and the door to my life is my adversary’. So I thought ‘I’m already off the show, if I stay it’s a bonus’.”
Wagner is in great shape right now and hits the gym six or seven times a week, so he looks different than he did on the show.
“When I went there, I was skinny. While I was on the show, I couldn’t work out or jog. I couldn’t jog on the street,” he explains. -he.
“I gained weight very easily, as I ate well and couldn’t exercise, I quickly developed a belly that took a lot of work to get rid of.”
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